Medicaid: What’s At Stake?

September 18, 2017

Medicaid is a public program that provides health insurance for low-income people, and for pregnant women, children, seniors and disabled people under certain income levels.

The cost is shared by states and the federal government.

Medicaid pays for half the births in the nation.

Medicaid covers two-thirds of nursing home residents.

The Affordable Care Act expanded Medicaid. This expansion was ruled by courts to be a state choice. Currently, 31 states and the District of Columbia are Medicaid expansion states.

What’s at stake?

The Graham-Cassidy-Heller plan is an immediate and serious threat to Medicaid. It has the support of the White House.

It proposes giving a block grant to each state from which the state would fund Medicaid. These block grants would replace direct federal funding.

The plan would slash Medicaid funding.  Millions would be left without needed coverage and services.

Enrollment would drop, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, because states would make it harder to qualify and they may get rid of certain benefits.

Medicaid and New York

New York expanded Medicaid under the ACA.

Medicaid and CHIP together cover 6.4 million people, about a third of the population of the state.  One in three New Yorkers depends on Medicaid.

Under the Graham-Cassidy-Heller plan, New York would be one of the hardest hit states. According to the Washington Post, it would receive nearly $1,000 less per person by 2026.

The threat to Medicaid

  • Under the Graham-Cassidy-Heller plan,  states that expanded Medicaid under the ACA – including New York State – would receive a smaller portion of Medicaid funding
  • The 6.4 million New Yorkers who receive Medicaid benefits would risk losing access to healthcare.